Central Oklahoma Habitat For Humanity is setting a new standard for the homes they build. On Friday, one family was handed the keys to the first Gold FORTIFIED Home in the state.
A dedication ceremony was held in Blanchard in the afternoon. Larry Coley and his family of four were excited to officially sign the papers on their house.
“I’m thrilled,” said Coley, “It’s just a huge step for our family. The home is really like the center point of a family.”
The structure is one-of-a-kind. The home is reinforced from the roof to the foundation to withstand high winds, hail, and even tornadoes with EF-0 and EF-1 magnitudes. It is built to reduce the damage after severe weather.
Ann Felton, CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat For Humanity, said it costs about 3,000 extra dollars to build a FORTIFIED Home with Gold standard, but she believes it’s well worth it.
She said the home in Blanchard is an example for 45 new FORTIFIED Homes that will be built in Central Oklahoma this year.
“Last year, we experienced about 69 tornadoes in Oklahoma,” said Felton, “So to be able to make our homes safer is really going to be a wonderful thing for our families.”
To new homeowner Coley, he said safety means everything to his family.
Not only that, he is grateful for Habitat For Humanity for giving them the opportunity to buy their first home.
His family qualified, which benefits them with no down payment, 0% interest, and an affordable mortgage. The family also has to put in 300 sweat equity hours, which is hands-on time helping build new Habitat For Humanity homes for future families like their own.
Moving forward, Central Oklahoma Habitat For Humanity will be building only Gold FORTIFIED Homes.